Great Aunt Jeanette was not the sort of lady for mincing words. In fact her words were usually punctuated with mostly things we shouldn't be repeating, in good company at least. And said LOUD and grumbly, a deep low baritone voice on a small but solidly built woman. A voice that carried across rooms, reverberating against church windows, rattling teacups.
She was often described as being able to "swear a sailor under a table" and this would certainly be the truth. And very colorful language indeed. Lots of references of "witch's tits" and "sonofabitching..."
One of our particular fond favorites was the loud and frequent use of the term "owl shit." As in, "Welllll...That's just a piece of OWWWWLLLLLL shit." (Loud and long emphasis on "owl"). Just think about that for a minute. We assume she is referring to owl pellets. The regurgitated pieces of rodent bodies, encased in nasty dark sticky solid goo, that frequent the floors of our barns. That's some darn good swearing right there!
So why Grandma Roberta ever thought to take Jeanette along to visit the newly renovated house of the local community "artiste," we'll never know. It was not perhaps, in hindsight, the best idea.
Treva Carter, who would go on to be a founder of our local, small-town, "artistic" community, had redecorated her home. Redecorated in the latest "colours" of the day. And since this particular incident occurred in the early 70s, the color choices were fashionable, but less than exemplary. Colors like "avocado," "tiger lily" and the putrid "pink champagne."
Throughout the home tour, Roberta, who was always one to bow to the standards of social graces, oohed and aahhed at all the appropriate moments. Appreciations were noted, accolades were handed out in abundance.
Yet not a word from Jeanette.
Finally, near the end of the tour, Treva, apparently not aware of the Jeanette's true nature, made a fatal flaw. She asked Jeanette's opinion of her newly polished, painted and coiffed home.
"Well, I coulda SHIT better colors than that."